The Traitors 208 Recap: Parvati Shallow, Duchess of Deception

At the start of the eighth episode of The Traitors season two, we’re in the same boat as the faithfuls: We have no idea who was murdered. As folks filter in for breakfast, I begin to wonder if this is Parvati’s last episode, because it seems like just about everyone is convinced she is a traitor, from CT, to Sandra, to Kevin. It’s not looking good for Parv!

The last two people to walk into breakfast are Parvati and Trishelle, meaning that the Traitors murdered Bergie. I have to be honest — I’m not sure I understand the strategy here. In a flashback back to the turret, Parvati and Phaedra reason that while they can’t murder Peter (because he earned protection at the Sacrifice Ritual) (lol this is a real sentence), Bergie is next best, as Peter’s right-hand man. I get that, but murdering Bergie also essentially clears Peter’s name, because he doesn’t come off as two-faced enough to murder his best friend. I don’t know how Parvati and Phaedra can frame someone else as the traitor, at this point.

Trishelle, unfortunately, is convinced that both Parvati and Phaedra are Traitors, and I hate to admit that she is 100% correct! But being 100% correct is not enough in a game of social manipulation. You also have to know how to play it. Trishelle thinks banishing Parvati would be a “safe” vote, because she basically has no allies at this point anyway, whereas voting Phaedra would be more strategic, because Phaedra has several ride-or-dies (Sheree, MJ, Sandra).

Trishelle pulls together what’s left of Peter’s Pals and explains her reasoning — and they seem convinced. So they’re going to try to convince Parvati that actually they don’t think she’s a traitor, to get her to also vote for Phaedra. Peter singles Parvati out in the bar, and they have an odd conversation wherein he tries to convince her that actually he doesn’t think she’s a Traitor, despite how hard he’s been gunning for her for like, ever. Parvati doesn’t buy it, but strategically, she reasons it helps her to align with him against Phaedra. It’s sad, but I don’t see any other option for Parvati at this point.

(This makes me think about a key difference between The Traitors and Survivor — there’s no jury. In Survivor, at the very end of the game, the final three contestants must convince a jury of people they voted out to give them the million dollar prize. In The Traitors, conversely, it’s purely a numbers game. So there is little to no incentive to be kind to folks you’re voting out — it doesn’t affect your chances at winning. This makes The Traitors feel a bit more straightforward, emotionally, than Survivor, where you have to eliminate people without alienating them.)

When Alan announces the challenge for this episode, everyone immediately knows it’s going to take place in… the cabin. For those unfamiliar, in the eighth episode of the last season, arguably the scariest challenge of all took place in the cabin — it was truly harrowing, bringing many folks’ actual nightmares to life. So I know we’re in for an absolute doozy of a challenge!

And we sure are. When the contestants arrive at the cabin, this guy dressed as an old-fashioned English newsie (truly no idea how else to describe it) is sitting in the rocking chair outside, and some of the contestants recognize him as Dr. Will, apparently one of the most devious Big Brother players of all time. Why is he there? Who knows! It’s The Traitors; strange and inexplicable things happen all the time!

After all the contestants go into the cabin, Dr. Will slams the door shut and LOCKS IT! It’s in that moment that I realize this is going to be some kind of escape-the-room challenge. But it’s more than that; the players have to escape the room and then go through a series of underground tunnels, covered in what may or may not be sewage, find gold along the way, and get out of the tunnels, all in 30 minutes.

This is the challenge that goes so hard it’s truly wild. In other shows, like Survivor or The Challenge, the difficulty and fear factor of the challenges are relatively consistent. In The Traitors, on the other hand, the challenges are extremely inconsistent, in terms of how scary and how hard they are, in a way that can only be construed as comical. I can’t really blame any of the folks who bow out, because this challenge involves buckets of bugs getting dumped on you from unseen trap doors, seemingly feral rats, weird-looking frogs, and lights that won’t stay on. YIKES!

By the end of the challenge, the group has earned $11,000, and Trishelle has found a shield and doesn’t plan on telling anyone (Peter and John saw though, so they know). Back at the house, Parvati is working overtime to convince folks that she’s innocent. She sits down with John — who many folks seem to regard as the pinnacle of truth and the ultimate faithful — and does a pretty convincing performance of her innocence. Like the best lies, it was full of truth. Will it be enough to save her?

At the roundtable, Parvati tries to assert her innocence, and it seems like maybe she has a tiny chance of getting out of this alive. Luckily for Parvati, Trishelle and Peter have decided to go full force on Phaedra, even implying (or explicitly stating?) that they no longer think Parvati is a traitor — that’s how sure they are of Phaedra. This is an odd tactic, because they do think Parvati is a traitor, and other people know they think that. So understandably, other contestants are like, why should I trust you at all if you’re literally lying right now? To me, it’s a reminder that in a show like The Traitors, how you sell it is as important — if not more important — as what you’re selling. This is the first crack in their case for Phaedra; the other is that Phaedra’s ride-or-dies — MJ, Sandra, and Sheree — were never gonna vote out their friend, at least not while there’s another extremely compelling option on the table.

When John makes his case for Parvati, I know it’s over for her. Because people trust John.

The votes come in — Parvati and Phaedra both voted for each other, which feels tragic and inevitable. In the end, Parvati gets just a few more votes than Phaedra, and she goes home. She gives a moving speech before revealing she is in fact a traitor, and everyone applauds her — as they should!!! I’m so sad to see our queen go. But she kept her dignity, and she left with a signature Parvati smirk.

Parvati Shallow, a contestant on The Traitors Season Two, smiles sadly as she leaves the show

The only correct response.

The episode closes with Phaedra in the turret, where Alan makes her an offer — she can either choose someone to murder, or offer someone the choice to be a traitor. But this time, unlike last time, the offer is an ultimatum — if the person she offers to refuses to accept, they die. So it seems inevitable that whoever she chooses will accept, if they want to stay in the game.

I have to be honest — I’m starting to wonder if the banish-a-traitor-add-a-traitor isn’t a flaw in the structure of this game. Because it makes me wonder, what’s the incentive to keep identifying traitors, if new ones keep coming up? It’s sort of like whack-a-mole, which feels less strategic and more frenetic. Maybe this is just a fact of this game — it’s not just skill, it’s also luck. You’re at the mercy of the timeline.

Anyway, who does Phaedra want to bring in as her fellow traitor? Kate Chastain. Things are about to get MESSY!!!

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Anya Richkind

Anya is a writer, a Pisces, and a huge fan of Survivor. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner Jess and their kittens, Buckett and Tubbs. She writes a substack called Questions I Have in which she explores questions big, small, medium, and more. Check it out here:

Anya has written 37 articles for us.


  1. Sandra had an instagram post after her pool table scene basically saying its not just getting out the traitors, its also making sure you are the faithful that gets to the end (so like, great job Peter’s crew but if i’m a faithful that’s not part of your group you can go) and if you know who a traitor is it’s better to time when to get them out cause you dont want an unknown recruitment. The game structure definitely favors the traitors!

    I will be missing Parv’s headbands for the last bit of the season.

  2. Trishelle (I hate to say it after episode one!) had the right strategy, if executed poorly by Peter, and I applaud her for finally thinking two steps ahead after spending so much time watching bumbling faithfuls in Season 1. It also endeared Peter to me, as annoying as his righteous zealotry can be. Unlike dan, who ignored all the solid advice of the (seemingly smarter) women around him, Peter was willing to divert from his original plan when he heard Trishelle’s reasoning.

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